Since this March Bittiq has a new team member: Ronald Sminia, a business developer who has many years of experience in the financial industry working for companies like ING and NN.

Before deciding to work together, we met Ronald to share our thoughts on the financial industry with focus on the current investment proposition. We soon found our visions were in line. After a few cups of coffee, we both thought it was the right decision to join forces. In this post Ronald gives some deeper personal and professional insights. 

Well, to start off, would you like to tell a bit more about yourself?
Where should I start.. I would describe myself as a real economist. Back in the days I studied ‘general and financial economy’. After that I rolled into the financial sector, where I started with some analytical roles like investment analyst. Gradually, I transitioned in to more client-facing roles. From this point on I started getting a more managerial role and the variety of tasks that I’ve had to do were getting broader. Next to relationship management, I also started doing marketing related work. This made me do business development in a broader sense. Fast forward to 2014, we started with the investment platform ‘FitVermogen’. At FitVermogen I started getting in touch with more innovative ideas. That was partly due to the FinTech companies that were coming by with their innovative services and products. This was the moment in my career where these innovative ideas really caught my interest. It was a world that moved faster than I’ve been used to. 

‘For sure moving from a large corporate to a startup must have been a big decision for you. What motivated you to join the Bittiq team?’
Bittiq approached me when I was working at FitVermogen as a potential buyer of their solutions. In my opinion, the traditional investment world was not going fast enough and making a real change in a large corporate is also difficult. But because of new regulations and the individualisation in society, people should look more into investing and what they can do with it. The hurdles that come with starting to invest are high and a lot of people do just not get triggered to invest their money. Many investment platforms sing the same old song by saying ‘you should start investing because it delivers more benefits than savings over the long term’. That doesn’t do the trick anymore. The story of Bittiq really spoke to me. Bittiq is aiming at making the future relevant for today by giving people an insight into their personal finance. You create the awareness to make smarter decisions with it. This enables people to more easily tackle the problems of having a good overview. Bittiq looks at the whole customer journey, from beginning to the end. 

‘I think we can both agree on that. Now that you’re on board, where do you want to add the most value?’
Bittiq is focusing its proposition on the investment industry a lot. I believe I can help them with my knowledge and experience. I’ve been active in this area for more than 20 years and I know the industry from the back of my hand. 
But next to this, I’ve developed myself as an allround business developer. I not only have a broad network, but I also have a lot of knowledge and expertise in marketing. Because Bittiq is a B2B2C company, I think my expertise comes in handy. I have experience on every terrain (B2B, B2C, B2B2C) and I can serve the financial sector on all kinds of levels. 

‘We see that personal finance is a great opportunity in the current market, how do you think personal finance can help with the investment proposition?’
There are countless opportunities with personal finance. What I like about personal finance, and what we do with Bittiq as well, is that you can not only create an overview of your financial life and get more grip on it, but you can also take the next step from this point on. You can let the consumer take action with the knowledge you already provided to him/her. A real call to action. Most people need this, because they find it difficult to make financial decisions for the future in the present. You have to make it as easy as possible for the consumer and personal finance can help a lot with doing that.

You mentioned hurdles. How do you look at them?’
The hurdles in starting with investing are quite big. It is a real challenge to make those hurdles as low as possible. But I think that you have to look at ‘unconscious money’. People are willing to transfer money into an investment account when you create a pain-free way to do this. You can activate this unconscious money in all kinds of ways. When the consumer has a positive goal for the future at the right time and of course a way to reach it, then they are willing to change something in their financial behaviour. 

‘Because the biggest part of your career was spent at a corporate, how is it to make the change to work at a startup?’
The biggest (positive) change with this transition is that things go fast. Having an idea and executing it, is a cycle that works very fast. Next to that, there is a feeling that things hit you more directly. Let me explain myself, when working at a corporate you have less impact on the bigger picture. Next to that you are also dependent on the priorities of the company. At a startup you have to prove yourself over and over again. I believe that is a very positive aspect, because you improve yourself and the company as well. Moreover there is a direct need to grow as a startup. It is really nice to work in an environment where there is a constant need to grow and improvement. Bittiq has a setting which is just like that and I like to work in such a setting. 

We are happy to have Ronald on our team and we are looking forward to celebrating future successes together! 

Are you also interested in joining Bittiq? Click here to find out more about the team and the open vacancies we have!